For nine years, the CocoNuts FIRST Robotics team has worked tirelessly to bring STEM opportunities to Flagstaff and beyond. Now we're excited to announce that Northern Arizona University is the proud sponsor and host of two exciting FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) events here in Flagstaff.
We invite all members of the community and the media to these events. Students and mentors will be available for interviews and photo opportunities, and there will be lots of live robot action on the field!
Arizona FIRST Tech Challenge Championship
Saturday, February 27, 2016
NAU University Union Fieldhouse (across from Cline Library)
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
30 teams from Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico
This year's game, FIRST RES-Q recreates a mission to rescue climbers stranded on an mountain. See the game animation here:
Questions? Contact: Christine Sapio
FIRST Robotics Competition Arizona North Regional
March 11-12, 2016
Walkup Skydome on the NAU Campus
8:30 am to 5:30 pm both days
52 teams from 9 states - this is one of the largest FIRST competitions in the Southwest!
This year's game, FIRST Stronghold, challenges teams to storm a medieval castle using 120-lb machines built in six-weeks! See game details here.
Questions? Contact Carol Popovich
Guest Blog by Janelle Reasor
Marshall's teachers, parents, students and 25 community judges/interviewers were blown away by the 232 experiments and 17 demonstrations entered into Marshall's 29th Annual Science Fair this week! We are all very proud of our creative, curious young scientists! A record 24 projects will make their way down to Prescott next week for the Northern Arizona Regional Science Fair. Thank you to Russ Kasch, our volunteer judges (see all names below) and Marshall teachers for setting Marshall students up for success! Go Mustangs! *NOTE: Scroll to end of blog for the Marshall student winners at Regionals!
Marshall thanks the following volunteer judges and project interviewers for their valuable time and expertise:
Karin Wadsack, Project Director NAU ~ College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences
Alex Leonard, W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
Stephen Probert, Engineer W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
Brenda Strohmeyer, Supervisory Biological Technician/CE Coordinator ~ Forest Service
Dr. Jamie Sanderlin, Quantitative Vertebrate Ecologist ~ Forest Service
Dr. Karen Haubensak, Assistant Research Professor NAU ~ Department of Biological Sciences & Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research
Ho Yi Wan, PhD Student/Research Assistant NAU ~ Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability
Anthony Hessel, PhD Candidate NAU ~Muscle Physiology
Spencer Jackman, Engineer W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
Sharon Masek Lopez, Watershed Restoration Research Specialist NAU~ Ecological Restoration Institute & School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability
Shelly Sheperd, Information and Education Program Manager ~ AZ Game & Fish
Ed Anderson, Support Systems Analyst, Pr. NAU ~ Department of Physics & Astronomy
Stan Sutherland, Retired Physics Teacher
Mary Lara, K-5 Science Coordinator Flagstaff Unified School District
Susan Holiday, Flagstaff Arboretum
Sarah Oman, NAU Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering
Robin Cudworth, Post baccalaureate NAU ~ Chemistry
Phil Scandura, Aerospace Engineer
Alexa Brooks, Graduate Student NAU ~ Department of Biology
Chris Wirth, Graduate Student NAU ~ Department of Biological Sciences
Jake Perrins, Microbiologist, Chemist and Toxicology
Becky Beresic-Perrins, PhD Student NAU ~ Department of Biological Sciences
Travis Cluckey, Master’s Student NAU ~Department of Biological Sciences
Tanya Sutton, Graduate Student NAU ~ Biology
Victor Jimenez, PhD Student NAU ~ Department of Biological Sciences
Update from the Northern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair:
Marshall Elementary had winning students and their projects in every grade level!
Kindergarten: 3rd Place, Aden Philips, "Density"
1st Grade: 1st Place in Physical Science, Kaleo Pason, "Passive Solar" and 2nd Place, Analee Tingerthal, "Different Kinds of Snow"
2nd Grade: 2nd Place in Plant Biology, Linnae Kuehl, "Why do cut flowers dies so quickly?"
3rd Grade: 1st Place in Plant Biology, Asher Young, "Wheatgrass"; 1st Place in Animal Biology, Adey Pearson, "How will Habitat Disturbance affect Swainson Hawks?"; and 1st Place in Chemical Science, Mark Vasiliauskas, "The Ice Age: Freezing Point Depression".
4th Grade: Honorable Mention in Animal Biology, Kayla Phillips, "Does Price Matter?"; 2nd Place in Animal Biology, Samuel Jones, "How does age effect speed?"; and 1st Place in Physical Science, Cash Taylor, "Electric Quarters"
5th Grade: 1st Place in Chemical Science, Bekah Coe, "I can has cupcake"; and a sweep in Physical Science with 1st Place, Maya Harvey, "Hot vs. Cold: Rubber Band Edition"; 2nd Place, Riley Carpel, "Bubble Fun"; and 3rd Place, Sid Schultheis, "Frosty Mint"
Congratulations to all!
The recent report in Science entitled “Climate confusion among U.S. teachers” has received a lot of attention. How do Flagstaff educators compare with the 1500 middle school and high school science teachers from all 50 states included in the study? While a formal survey has not been conducted, anecdotal evidence suggest Flagstaff educators use the impressive resources of the Flagstaff and global science community to help inform themselves and their students on up-to-date scientific understanding of climate science.
Susan Brown, the 7th grade science teacher at Northland Preparatory Academy, recently had Skylar Haines, a Master’s student at the University of Maine, present to all five of her classes on his fieldwork on an Antarctic ice core. Skylar also has a paper in press on a Greenland ice core with Dr. Paul Mayewski, one of the top climate scientists in the U.S.
Susan’s class is involved in a multi-year study of how lichens respond to climate change and both Kristin Haskins of the Arboretum at Flagstaff and Anita Antoninka with NAU Forestry, have presented multiple times to her class. One of her students, Michal Swanson, has started a blog to keep people posted on what they are learning in class. You can access the blog including interviews with Skylar and Anita here.
At Sinagua Middle School, 8th grade educator Jillian Worssam has an in-depth climate science curriculum that includes numerous Flagstaff and global climate scientists interacting with her Honor's students as one-on-one mentors throughout the academic year. Below is Allen Pope skyping his mentee Ash and the rest of her class, from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. Other mentors include Seth Danielson from the University of Alaska - Fairbanks Atmosphere Ocean Interactions group, Robbie Score from Polar Field Services supporting Arctic science expeditions, Karin Wadsack, NAU Wind for Schools and Jason Mansour, a NOAA pilot and hurricane hunter!
Locally, the Arboretum has a 6th to 8th grade Climate Change in the Southwest curriculum including kit materials available for educators to keep at no cost. You can read more about, and download, the curriculum here. Climate has also come up with community presentations for Science on Tap with NAU Regents Professor Bruce Hungate, and NOAA Meteorologist Brian Klimowski. Bonnie Stevens has featured many local climate scientists on KNAU's Brain Food, and the Arizona Daily Sun has had many articles on climate science and climate impacts in the Southwest.
The STEM City website has vetted climate science curriculum posted here. Please suggest other curriculum, climate science educators and other sources for quality science information in Flagstaff in the Comments section below!
Marsha Reynolds, 5th grade teacher, and Jessica Soifer, Art teacher, have partnered for an after school 5th grade STEAM Club that has students engaged in numerous projects. Marsha borrowed Flagstaff STEM City's Engineering Adventures Kit on Rockets and Rovers called "Lift Off". Note: Look here if you are also interested in borrowing an engineering kit!
Marsha Reynolds writes: "Both Mrs. Soifer and I have been privileged to help lead the 5th grade STEAM club at Knoles Elementary. We enjoy working with a dedicated group of students who are interested in science, art, engineering and technology and on top of that, are willing to stay after school once a week for the activities we provide. These students are creative, and do a wonderful job of persevering through the projects that we introduce."
These dedicated teachers also bring in other professionals. Tenielle Gaither, from the USGS Astrogeology Center, observed students building their rovers. And Jeff Jones, the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Coconino Community College, brought in a 3D Printer and students learned how to use the printer to create something original.
Jessica Soifer writes: "The motivation behind STEAM club is our dedicated students. The students show up once a week after school with eyes wide open and execute the daily projects. We have designed our lessons to ensure the students are exploring a range of content among Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. The students explore through experiential learning, discover new ideas and designs, while problem solving, working collaboratively, and having fun. Marsha Reynolds and I work well together. We each have different strengths that compliment each other to bring success to the STEAM club. We collaborate and provide an easy going vibe and flexibility to facilitate a fun and exciting learning environment for all students."
Congratulations to this successful collaboration that has so many students happily engaged in such a variety of projects in their after school STEAM Club!
Killlip Elementary School may have the youngest coders in town! Sheryl Wells, the Technology Integration Coach, began a K-2 computer coding club for their after-school STEM program this year. The students use engaging online computer programming "games" from Code.org. They also program a small robot called the Bee-Bot.
The twenty students (including three kindergarteners) are already impressive coders. Each of the students can work at their own pace and on the challenges at their own level and interest area on the wide variety of programs available on the Code.org site. They work in teams to program the Bee-Bot and determine the best sequence of instructions for it to follow the path laid down for it on the classroom floor.
The birds-eye view of two 2nd graders writing code for the Bee-Bot
Congratulations to the Killip Coders, and please comment below if you know of other young coders in town!
The 2016 STEMMY Awards are only a month away! The nominations are in and we couldn't be more thrilled with the excellent nominees in each category. The judging committee has a difficult task ahead as all of these people and organizations are STEM-terrific!
STEM Student of the Year Nominees:
Rebecca Adams, 11th grade, CAVIAT Central Programs
Wyatt Clark, 10th grade, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy
Marcus Eliason, 9th grade, Coconino High School
Cameron Emry, 12th grade, Coconino High School
Rebecca Encinas, 8th grade, San Francisco de Asis
Grant Hagaman, 7th grade, Flagstaff Community Christian School
Candace Manygoats, 12th grade, Coconino High School
Jacob Moul, 12th grade, BASIS Flagstaff
Dadric Riggs, 11th grade, Coconino High School
Ben Young, 6th grade, Northland Preparatory Academy
Yasmin Zuch, 12th grade, Flagstaff High School
STEM Teacher of the Year Nominees:
Susan Brown, Northland Preparatory Academy
Katie Butterfield, Killip Elementary School
Curt Craig, Mount Elden Middle School
Todd Gonzales, Mount Elden Middle School
Lara Hernandez, San Francisco de Asis
Ted Komada, Killip Elementary School
Rich Krueger, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy
Linda Lenz, Flagstaff High School
Brian Locke, Coconino High School
Keith Nicholson, Coconino High School
Susan Rieck, Medical Foundations Instructor, CAVIAT
Jillian Worssam, Sinagua Middle School
STEM Community Leaders of the Year Nominees:
Jane Gaun, Math Coordinator, FUSD
Scott Hathcock, Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce
Brent Neilson, CAVIAT Superintendent
Bruce Sidlinger, Sidlinger Computer Corporation
Greg Vaughan, U.S. Geological Survey
Robert Zavala, U.S. Naval Observatory
STEM Community Organizations/Businesses of the Year:
Grand Canyon Trust
Northern Arizona University
Congratulations to all nominees. STEM City appreciates YOU!
Flagstaff STEM Coordinator